Book Title: A Bad Day for Jayden (available here)
Author: Tony Bradman
Illustrator: Tania Rex
Publisher: Barrington Stoke
Publication Date: Feb 2020
Most Suitable For: KS2
Reviewed By: Caroline Waldron
Jayden is worried. His mum doesn’t seem her usual self. Since she lost her job at the supermarket she spends a lot of time under her duvet, leaving Jayden to get his little sister, Madison, ready for school and to sort out food for dinner. And his best friend, Dylan, is no longer his best friend. He doesn’t know why. Jayden just knows that Dylan would rather hang out with the school bully, Luca, and help make his life even more of a misery. Then there’s Miss Wilson. She’s a supply teacher, hurrying for her first day as Jayden’s class teacher. She doesn’t think she’ll be a teacher much longer, she’s sick of spending more time filling in forms than helping the children she teaches. Miss Wilson soon spots that Jayden is worried. She asks some of the other teachers about him but they’re all too busy with their own classes to be of any help. Things finally come to a head at lunchtime. But, just as Jayden thinks that his bad day couldn’t possibly get any worse, something amazing happens. Miss Wilson sits him down and listens to him. Properly listens. They both know that it will take time for things to change for Jayden, but it’s a start.
This is a well-written, thought-provoking read, ideal for KS2. I particularly liked the way it showed Jayden’s friendship issues and the impact they had on him, as well as the fact that teachers can have bad days too. A fantastic book for prompting class or small group discussions on friendship and how sharing a problem with someone you can trust is a great way of helping to resolve it. As it’s from Barrington Stoke, the book is printed in dyslexia-friendly font and on coloured paper, therefore making it suitable for a wider range of readers. The text is also broken up with some lovely, expressive illustrations by Tania Rex, with easy-to-read expressions on the character’s faces, making for some good discussion points.
Many thanks to the publisher for sending us a review copy of this book and to Review Panel member Caroline for reviewing it.
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